3 Key Takeaways from “Abominable”


I don’t get out to the movies often but relish the few hours spent in a comfortable theater chair, sitting beside my two oldest boys.  Recently, my sons and I saw the movie Abominable and absolutely loved it.  It is great for parents and children alike.  Here are my three biggest takeaways that coincide nicely with the mission behind Redefining Family Wealth:


1.      Use Your Unique Gifts

You are special and like no other. 

 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” – Psalm 139: 13-14

Everest, a fun-loving Yeti, made magic when in communion with nature.  He made the journey to Mount Everest smoother.

The main female character Yi learned violin from her father at a young age.  My favorite scene was seeing the dull white flowers come to life as Yi magnificently played the violin. 

The beauty of gifts is that they are used to bless others.  

When Everest got the crew out of a tricky situation, or Yi’s violin-playing spurred splendor beyond measure, the entire group benefitted.

What are you best at doing?  Is your gift music, art, a particular sport, or a virtue?  Are you great with a particular subset of the population – children, the elderly, or middle-aged adults?  If you had a passion as a child that you no longer share with others, what is stopping you from sharing it now? 

Think back to a particular time in life where you felt especially happy.  From where did that joy emanate?  What can you do today to recreate it?


2.      Adventure Can Be Good For You

From a young age, many of us are told to play it safe.  Color within the lines.  Don’t cross the street without looking both ways.  Hold your parents’ hands.  Stay within the confines of your comfort zone. 

In the movie Abominable, Yi’s friend Jin liked to play it safe as well.  As a high schooler, he had his sights set on medical school – not because he’d have the opportunity to save lives but because he thought he would look good in a white jacket. 

Yi and Jin were trying to help their newfound Yeti friend reach the top of Mount Everest.  In an effort to escape scientists who were determined to keep the Yeti imprisoned, Yi and Jin made their way through China’s historical landmarks. 

Yi was open to adventure and vowed not to leave the Yeti until he was reunited with family.  Jin was skeptical and encouraged Yi to return home immediately.  After Jin caught wind of the evil scientists’ plan, he ultimately supported Yi in this journey.  Jin’s eventual willingness to embrace adventure made the journey much more enjoyable.

To make any substantive change, solely relying on past behaviors will fail you.  You can use history as a guide, but you must be open to move in a new direction. 

I grew up “playing it safe” and stayed that way throughout my 20s.  In my early 30s, a very dramatic event changed my perspective on life.  I had no choice but to surrender my concerns to God, and he transformed me. 

The choices I’ve made since 2012 have been “adventurous” but also necessary.  Trusting in God’s plan for my life requires leaps of faith that others may perceive as too risky.  I quit my salaried wealth management position in 2013 to spend more time with family.  I’ve started three businesses.  My family of five lived in Spain for three months last year.  I’m preparing for another major transition (can’t disclose the details yet).

What area or areas of your life need an overhaul?  Are there simple habits you can develop to move the needle in a positive direction?  Perhaps you are being called to a more dramatic change.  Run towards the adventure rather than away from it.


3.      Family First

The movie Abominable began with Yi running from one odd job to another.  Her mother and grandmother said she’s just too busy.  They rarely see her anymore. 

Movie watchers soon discover that Yi is busy for two reasons: 1) a distraction from her father’s recent death and 2) to earn money for an adventure across China that she promised her dad they would take together. 

Yi matured during her journey with the Yeti and reflected on her relationship with her deceased father.  Her exchange with Jin in the middle of the movie was especially insightful: Jin reminded Yi that she still has a loving mother and grandmother who want to spend quality time with her.

Who suffers most when you are too busy to stop and smell the roses? 

Truth be told, my family suffers the most when my schedule is out-of-control.

Jefferson Bethke reminds us in his book To Hell With Hustle (available for preorder here):

A Christian may not be doing anything morally “wrong,” yet is addicted to being busy, feeling frantic, and overall staying anxious in their work and relationships, which clearly doesn’t line up with the way of Jesus. To follow Jesus, we need to not just follow His teaching but follow His way.

Don’t let ambition at work let your priorities get out of whack. 

Need more assistance in strengthening your family?  Dr. Josh & Christi of Famous at Home also have several wonderful resources, including the 7 Core Decisions guide.


Where to Go From Here

I encourage you to see the movie Abominable.  More importantly, identify one of the three take-a-ways that most requires your attention.

Have you lost sight of your gifts?  Focus on better expressing your passion.

Are you content with the status quo even though God is calling you to something bigger?  Take the leap of faith and embrace the adventure!

Are you physically and emotionally exhausted from work, leaving the leftover scraps of energy for family?  Think about ways to bring family to the forefront while still pursuing your professional ambitions.

You are called to live purposefully and abundantly.  Now make it happen!

Are you eager to combat fears and live intentionally?  Read my book Redefining Family Wealth: A Parent’s Guide to Purposeful Living.  Already have a copy?  Please leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads.